San Mateo County, California Genealogy Guide
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San Mateo County, California (Map It) was created on April 19, 1856 from the southern portion of San Francisco County . San Mateo County bears the Spanish name for Saint Matthew. As a place name, St. Matthew appears as early as 1776, and the arroyo, the point and the settlement at the unofficial San Mateo Mission are all so designated on the early maps. Until about 1850, the name appeared as San Matheo. . Learn More About State of California History
San Mateo County Cities and Towns include Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Colma, Daly City, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco, Woodside .
Since its creation San Mateo County boundries have changed to include these:
- Most of San Mateo County is territory which was in San Francisco County from 1850 to 1856 when it was moved to San Mateo County.
- Territory of significant size was in Santa Cruz from 1850 until 1868 when it was added to San Mateo County.
San Mateo County, California Courthouse Records
San Mateo County, CA Courthouse
Old San Mateo County Courthouse
Courthouse History - The fourth and grandest of San Mateo's courthouses was built on the site of the second and third, which were destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. It was here in Redwood City in 1931 that the colorful jurist George H. Buck decided the Flood Estate case, a battle over the estate of a wealthy financier and philanthropist that gained national attention. The Roman Renaissance building was turned over to the San Mateo County Historical Association in 1997 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Please contact the each clerk's department to confirm mailing address, hours, fees and other information before visiting or requesting information because contact information sometimes changes. The Clerk's Office DOES NOT DO RESEARCH. The documents are available to interested parties, barring confidential issues. Most staff will assist people in finding the materials, but it is up to the individual to do the research. Some early court records from the various courts may have been sent to the California State Archives. Besides court minutes and judgements, these records include tax lists, wills, deeds, estate inventories, and marriage bonds. The California State Archives has microfilm of selected county records, 1850–1919.
The following dates indicates what vital, land, probate, and court records are in San Mateo county. The date listed for each category of record is usually the earliest registration filed. The earliest date does not indicate that there are numerous records for that year and does not mean that all such events were actually registered. Some counties encompass land settled in the eighteenth century; their records pre-date county formation. Land transactions and vital records recorded in the county are at the county recorder's office. The county clerk general has probate books and files from the county's superior court, civil court records, and naturalizations. Divorces may be in either place, depending on how filed.
- San Mateo County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 1865, Marriage Records from 1853 and Land Records from 1856. The County Recorder-Clerk is s responsible for examination and recording of all documents presented for recording that deal with establishing ownership of land in the County or as required by statute; administers the real property transfer tax law and maintains a permanent record and indexes of all documents for public viewing plus providing certified copies requested by the public; recording of all lawful documents such as deeds, deeds of trust, judgments, liens, affidavits, Uniform Commercial Code Financial Statements, etc; and the filing of Births, Deaths, and Marriages.
- San Mateo County Clerk of Superior Court has Probate Records from 1856 and Court Records from 1871. The County Clerk of Superior Court has probate books and files from the county's superior court, civil court records, and naturalizations. Divorces may be here or in the Recorders Office, depending on how it was filed.
- San Mateo County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 225 West 37th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403; Office (650) 573-2395
San Mateo County, California Census Records
- Learn More: State of California Census Records
- U.S. Federal Population Schedules: 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragmented), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940
- State Population Schedules: Voter Registers, 1866-1898, Voter Registrations, 1900-1968
- U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules: 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Agriculture Schedules: 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Industry Schedules: 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Union Veterans Schedules: 1890
San Mateo County, California Vital Records
- Learn More: State of California Vital Records
- Birth Records: from July 1905 to present.
- Marriage Records: Indexes from 1949-1986 and 1998-1999.
- Death Records: from July 1905 to present. See Local County Recorder
- Divorce Records: from 1962 and June, 1984. See local County Circuit or County Chancery Clerk.
- Locations: California Department of Public Health, Vital Records, – MS 5103, 1501 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95814; PH (916) 445-1719 or (916) 445-2684
- Vital Records Online: USAVital, VitalChek or Social Security Death Index
- Vital Records by Mail: Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Divorce Certificate, Death Certificate Applications.
San Mateo County, California Resources
- San Mateo County Genealogical Society
- Belmont Historical Society
- Burlingame Historical Society
- Millbrae Historical Society
- San Mateo History Museum
- San Mateo County Historical Association
- Spanishtown Historical Society
- San Mateo County, California Message Boards
- San Mateo County, California Genealogy Forum
- San Mateo County, California Mailing lists